Sometimes it seems as if Mother Nature knows exactly what we need. Now, in autumn, she gives us another rich gift. With some pretty great tubers and vitamin-rich all-rounders that supply the body with valuable vitamins and accompany us healthily and cheerfully through the cold, dark months of the year - if you know how! The art of using vegetables has been celebrated here in South Tyrol for generations. Nowadays, pumpkin, beetroot, cabbage and co. can be used and preserved as alpine superfoods as easily as never before. Today we would like to invite you to join us in the farm garden, get to know our favourite vegetables and gather a few ideas for your own kitchen.
Great tubers and culinary all-rounders
Cabbage is good for you
The Indo-Germanic language already knew it, the "kaul". Originating from the original cabbage, today there are many of its descendants, known as red cabbage, white cabbage, green cabbage or savoy cabbage. Cabbage is a classic winter vegetable and is found in different varieties, especially in Alpine cuisine. What would a roast be without red cabbage? Or the South Tyrolean Tirtlan without sauerkraut? Long discredited and scorned as a "poor man's food", cabbage is experiencing a true renaissance. After all, cabbage is full of valuable ingredients. Above all, the vitamin C content is impressive. But also the secondary plant substances, dietary fibres and the protein building block methylmethionine can help us to get through the winter healthy and lively.
Beets full of beetroot
The turnip plant beetroot is also a must in our autumnal cottage garden. Often called "Rohnen" here, this vegetable probably originated in North Africa. The ancient Romans brought them to our region. This beetroot has only had its typical bright pink colour since the 19th century, but its yellow and striped (!) siblings are becoming more and more fashionable and taste just as good. In South Tyrol we love our "Rohnenknödel" (beet dumplings) with their wonderful pink colour - our tip: make dumplings in advance and freeze them uncooked! Beetroot capriccio, which with its earthy-sweet taste is an extremely healthy alternative to the animal classic, has almost achieved cult status.
Hurray for the pumpkin!
The autumn vegetable par excellence is - that's right, the pumpkin! This orange fellow may not be a native of South Tyrol, but it has long since found its way into the domestic kitchen. The origin of the pumpkin lies in Bolivia, where it was already cultivated over 10,000 years ago. In Europe, pumpkins have been known since the 16th century. In our country, this vegetable can be found in delicious ravioli, gnocchi or risotto. A good idea to preserve pumpkin is an Asian-inspired pumpkin chutney, and those who like to experiment should definitely try their hand at smoked pumpkin. We at Valsegg prefer to process our pumpkins into the classic pumpkin soup. Our chef from the gourmet restaurant Eggile was kind enough to write down his favourite recipe for you:
The Valsegg Pumpkin Soup
- 200 g cleaned pumpkins
- 20 g leek
- 20 g carrots
- 2 potatoes, medium size
- 1 egg yolk
- 50 ml cream
- 1 clove garlic
- Some thyme Pepper and salt
- Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil
Peel the pumpkin, cook ¼ of it as small cubes for the chowder and set aside. Cut the rest into small pieces for cooking. Finely chop the leeks, carrots and potatoes as well and sauté in a pot with butter and the pumpkin. Pour in vegetable stock, add garlic and spices and puree. Before serving, stir in the small pumpkin cubes, cream and egg yolk. If the soup is too thin, thicken with a little flour.
Tip: You can also serve the soup with roasted bacon and onion strips or decorate with pumpkin seeds and oil.
The greatest wonders reveal themselves in small things. We love to linger and take a closer look. The world around our holiday chalets in Alto Adige is full of wondrous tales and we are only too happy to share them with you.
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